The first public glimpses of the global COVID-19 pandemic trace back to December 2019, when a cluster of people suffering fever and shortness of breath from an unknown pathogen emerged in Wuhan, China. By January 2020, the World Health Organization and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were cranking up their responses as initial reports revealed that a novel coronavirus was on the loose.
Quickly, cases popped up in other countries. Then on Jan. 17, 2020, the first US case was reported involving a nursing home patient in Washington state. The virus spread like wildfire. By March, a national emergency had been declared. New York City closed its schools. Shutdowns started happening everywhere—including here at Cincinnati Children’s.
As of July 1, 2020, the beginning of fiscal 2021, 127,681 Americans were dead from exposure to SARS-CoV-2. The worst pandemic since 1918 grimly steamrolled every rosy prediction that the situation would be akin to a bad flu season. By June 30, 2021, the end of fiscal 2021, the death toll had reached 604,656. By the end of 2021, more than more than 824,000 Americans had died.
In between, every day was a COVID day and everything about care, research and work for more than 16,000 employees at Cincinnati Children’s had been affected.